COTABATO CITY — In a forum on Thursday, March 30, Bangsamoro Government’s different ministries and offices presented to the women sector and civil society organizations (CSOs) in the region their respective gender and development (GAD) plans and budgets for year 2023 and beyond.
Some of the programs identified were awareness-raising on gender issues, gender mainstreaming, capacity building, training, and forum, among many others.
The participants were also asked for their issues and concerns, and the output will be included in BARMM’s GAD guidelines in addressing the socio-economic welfare of the women in the region.
Among the CSOs that joined the forum was the Sigay nu mga Babay Association from Dapiawan, Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao.
Its president, Guiamela Sayutin, said: “ngayon masaya kami kasi kung saan-saan kasali na kami sa forum at mga dialogue. Napakasaya namin dahil hindi lang miyembro namin ang natutulungan sa aming ginagawa sa organization, lahat ng mga kababaihan sa SPMX box (adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin, Mamasapano, and Shariff Saydona) ay may benefit sila sa organization namin.”
“(Gusto ko) hindi mapag-iwanan ang lahat ng mga kababaihan sa remote areas […] Gusto ko lahat kami makakaintindi na may karapatan ang mga kababaihan,” she further said.
She also shared that aside from advocating the rights and participation of women and youth in their municipality, their organization also generates income through weaving and food processing, to support their activities.
Spearheaded by the Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC), Thursday’s forum was the highlight of the culmination program of the National Women’s Month celebration in the region.
BWC Chairperson Bainon Karon said: “This year’s theme ‘We Make Change Work for Bangsamoro Women’ resonates the call for gender-balance in leadership and decision making, inclusion of women’s concerns in leadership platforms and government’s development agenda, and capacitating and preparing women to reach their ambitions.”
“Let us be instruments in ensuring that women get half of the plate, that women’s role and contribution as active agents of peace and development are on mainstream and not on the sidelines,” Karon emphasized. (Myrna Tepadan/BIO)